Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 171–184

Assessment of the Effectiveness of Genetic Counseling by Telephone Compared to a Clinic Visit


DOI: 10.1023/A:1022663324006

Cite this article as:
Sangha, K.K., Dircks, A. & Langlois, S. Journal of Genetic Counseling (2003) 12: 171. doi:10.1023/A:1022663324006


Maternal serum screening, also known as the triple screen, is used during pregnancy to assess the risk of carrying a fetus with specific chromosome abnormalities or open spina bifida. All women in British Columbia who screen positive are eligible for genetic counseling and are offered amniocentesis. The purpose of this study is to determine what differences (if any) exist in patients' understanding and/or anxiety when genetic counseling for a positive triple screen is conducted in person versus over the telephone. Each patient who participated was given the choice of having genetic counseling in person or over the telephone, this after a randomized design failed to elicit any participants. Using a written postcounseling questionnaire, each patient was assessed for her understanding of the information presented in the session, and her anxiety regarding her risk. In this small pilot study, no large differences were detected in patients' understanding or anxiety when genetic counseling was conducted by telephone versus in person.

genetic counselingtelephonematernal serum screenknowledgeanxiety

Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karan K. Sangha
    • 1
  • Anita Dircks
    • 2
  • Sylvie Langlois
    • 2
  1. 1.Medical Genetics ClinicUniversity of Alberta HospitalEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Provincial Medical Genetics Programme, Children's and Women's Health Centre of British Columbia and Department of Medical GeneticsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada